Canine neosporosis: detection of sera antibodies in rural and urban canine population of Chile.
- Neospora caninum is a protozoan parasite whose infection has been detected in canine, bovine and others species around the world. In Chile, the presence of the disease has been already demonstrated in cows of the IX Region of the country. In the present study we investigated the presence of antibodies against N. caninum in dog sera. Blood samples of 201 dogs were taken from different local veterinary clinics and in rural areas of IX Region of the country, data about the dog sex, age, breed, 'rural' or 'urban' habitat and if they consume or not 'raw meat' was collected. The 18% (36/201) of the studied animals had 1:50 dilution IFA test antibodies. There was difference in the amount of positives between rural 26% (21/81) and urban 12,5% (34/120) dog populations (OR=2,45). Only in 68% (136/201) of the cases, it was possible to determine the dog's feed, and there was also difference in the seropositives between 'raw meat' (29,5%; 21/71) vs. 'no raw meat' (7%; 9/65) (OR = 2,613). There were no differences by sex, breed and age. A Neospora Aglutination Test (NAT) in two sera of Chloe's fox (Pseudolapex fulvipes) were positive (1:320), these animals are native of Chile but they were owned by a local zoo. This study shows that dogs of IX Region of Chile were infected with N. caninum, and although limited, the results suggest that the canine rural population and/or those fed with raw meat have more risk of being infected. On the other hand the positivity of the two studied foxes open interesting questions about their potential role as diffusers of the disease.